‘How is not something that will be appealing to

 

‘How I Braved Anu Aunty and Co-Founded
a Million Dollar Company’ by Varun Agarwal pulls you to snatch the book,
exclusively by the value of the title. As the name suggests, it is an autobiographical description of
entrepreneur Varun Agarwal’s attempts to put a stop to Anu Aunty’s influence on
his life. The book very finely captures the emotion of an unemployed
graduate trying to do something different from the painfully ordinary existence
and start something of his own with his friend. The book goes back to the time
when the entrepreneurial bug had at long last chomped the Indian youth; however
the time which has been depicted in this book was a rough beginning phase of
development of the new age entrepreneurs in India. This masterpiece by Varun is
not something that will be appealing to the eyes of critics – just as he
clarifies in the very beginning that it is no work of Ernest Hemingway.
Ironically, this is also the reason for the charm of the book, its simplicity
and the captivating style of the author engages the readers in the best
possible way. His brutally honest narration of the episodes of his life is what
gives this book a unique and fascinating flavor.

Varun Agarwal, the protagonist
and the author, is an average Indian youngster who has just completed his
engineering but has no clear direction to focus on for his life ahead of him.  The story line is simple without any deep
plots to understand and analyze. Major part of the story revolves around
conquering the fear of a dominant Anu Aunty. Anu Aunty is that neighborhood aunty who always interferes in our
lives and instigates our parents against us. She smiles and pretends to be
happy with our success but she wants us to be under her control. On the other
hand, Varun is the kind of a person who takes life as it comes, doing nothing
even after completing engineering. That is when his mother gets fed up of him
and takes help of Anu Aunty to get him back on track.

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The
story begins with a peek into the history of Varun. He talks about his school
days when he had his first encounter with Anu Aunty at the open house. His
mother came across a woman who would go on to represent the culture existing in
the Indian society. Varun gives a perfect
description of her character by explaining the instance when her son, Arjun,
scored 95% and Anu Aunty was left in dismay as she wanted him to score 98%. He
tries to put forward the fact that she was a sadistic person who had the
ability to make you feel bad about yourself. This beginning of the book gives a
just right insight into the personality and character of Anu Aunty, the female
protagonist of the story. According to Anu Aunty, any person was
successful only if he/she were an engineer or a doctor. She did not really have
a certain amount of faith and belief in entrepreneurship. An ideal career for
any graduate would be working in a multinational company with a high paying
job. She would compare every person with her son who after completing his engineering
got placed in a brilliant company.

Varun was an average student when
it came to studies. His mother was very anxious about his life and Anu aunty
would fill her ears up with things like how could she let Varun sit without a
job at home. She was keen on getting him placed at the same firm as Arjun,
which at times seemed like a ruse to make him work at a position lower than her
son.

The
life story of Varun Agarwal is set in Bangalore and it smells of the city
throughout the book with small little snippets and incidents at some of the
famous places of Bangalore. He had 4 really close friends whom he would
meet occasionally over drinks or at parties. The
next chapter of the book introduces Varun’s friends and also gives a brief
introduction of Devika, the girl who Varun, and probably all other boys too,
liked.

One day, Varun and his friends,
Sid, Rohit, Mehta and Mal, better known as Rohn Malhotra, who was the other co
founder, were out grabbing a few drinks. Rohn was currently working at KGMP.
Varun would find him to be a very constructive and upbeat person; someone who
he thought would help him draw a solid plan for his idea. He took him to the side
for a cigarette and over the cigarette he told Mal about his idea, the idea
that would spread like wild fire in schools and colleges across the country. He
described it as School Merchandising. He defined it as making merchandise for
students of various schools and colleges as well as their alumnus in the form
of hoodies and t shirts. Mal listened to it very carefully and was impressed
with the idea.

The
book has a few chapters scattered throughout which are clearly not vital to the
storyline of the book according to its title but give a brief account of some
of the highlights of Varun’s life which somehow impacted his choices and the
path that he had selected.